Motorists have more responsibility than just driving safely. They must also make sure their vehicles are in safe, stable working order and that any cargo they're carrying is properly secured. Drivers of cars or trucks hauling trailers or other attached equipment should ensure that their loads won't break loose and that contents won't escape and cause harm to others on the road. After all, an object that seems to be sufficiently fastened when the vehicle is stopped can be unpredictable at high speeds.
A tragic example of this unpredictability is the accident that caused a Calvert County, Maryland, motorcyclist to lose his leg and also injured two of his fellow riders. The accident happened Saturday afternoon as the riders were traveling on Route 5 behind a passenger van hauling a utility trailer. The trailer broke loose, struck a guardrail and managed to cross the entire roadway before hitting the three motorcyclists and coming to rest against the other guardrail. Two of the motorcycle drivers and a passenger were thrown from their bikes in the crash.
The most injured driver suffered a life-threatening leg injury. Fortunately, a Maryland State Police trooper happened to be stopped in the area at the time. He witnessed the accident in the rearview mirror of his police cruiser and immediately rushed over to help. He applied a tourniquet to the motorcyclist's leg to stop the bleeding, a move that a police lieutenant later said was instrumental in saving the motorcyclist's life. The injury was serious enough to require a below-the-knee amputation, however. Another motorcyclist was also rushed to a hospital, and a third was injured but refused medical treatment.
The motorcyclist's leg injury means his riding days are over for quite some time. In order to resume a normal life, let alone ride again, he'll need extensive medical treatment, prosthetics, and physical and occupational therapy. All of this rehabilitation comes at a considerable expense, and to cover it, the man may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the van, who had a duty to ensure that the trailer was properly hooked up and secure. Because of that failure, one man's life has been changed immeasurably.
Source: SoMdNews.com, "Motorcyclist loses leg in crash with trailer," John Wharton, Aug. 8, 2012
- Our firm handles similar situations to the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Maryland personal injury page.